NERC laments theft of 50% generated power

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has lamented the huge loss of  generated power in the country claiming that about 50 percent of all the electric power generated in Nigeria is unaccounted for financially.

Speaking on behalf of the electricity regulatory Agency, Mr Abba Ibrahim, Commissioner, Government and Consumers Affairs, said recently in Lagos that there were lots of theft going on within the chain of power generation to the transmission process.

Ibrahim told journalists at an interactive session  that between 45 and 50 per cent of power generated were not paid for.

He said that this was due to inefficiency in the management of the power sector, adding that majority of the electricity consumers believed that power must be provided freely by the government.

Ibrahim said that the commission would embark on enlightenment campaign for Nigerians and estate developers in the six geo-political zones to ensure prompt payment of their electricity bills.

He further explained that the commission would also address all the issues and complaints from both the estate developers and residents on the newly introduced Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO), While noting that the commission’s primary responsibility was to ensure that consumers pay for the power they consumed.

Ibrahim said that up to date, about 49 investors had been licensed to generate and supply power. He said that the present situation in the power sector was not an issue of licensing companies to invest, but to provide the enabling environment for the investors to operate.

“We have issued about 49 licenses of which over 27 were inherited by the present commission.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commission had on Monday commenced one day enlightenment campaign for the estate developers and Lagos residents on the needs to pay their bills promptly.  NERC also used the occasion to  urge estate management companies to immediately transfer all electricity distribution services to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) distribution companies.

Mr Chijioke Obi, Manager, Legal Licensing and Enforcement of NERC, made the plea recently at an enlightenment campaign held for estate developers and Lagos residents.

Obi, also urged the distribution companies to seek the commission’s approval for the regularisation of the power supply arrangement in the estates.

He urged the estate management companies to refund whatever money they collected from the landlords for the installation of pre-paid meters without the consent of the appropriate PHCN distribution companies.

Obi said that such money was illegal and should be refunded immediately to all the affected landlord and residents.

“The commission will from this moment exercise its monitoring and enforcement powers in accordance with the EPSR Act, 2005.

Alhaji Mohammed Bello, Vice Chairman of NERC urged the estate developers and residents to ensure that bulk electricity service provider within their areas of operations follow the due process.

Bello said that NERC was determined to carry out its full responsibility of re-ensuring that electricity supply was adequate, reliable, safe and affordable for all.

The vice chairman said that the campaign was to enable the developers and the residents to know their rights and obligations as set out in the ongoing power reforms.

“NERC was established under the Electricity Power Reforms Act (ESPR), 2005 as an independent electricity sector regulator and began operation on Oct. 31, 2005.

“In recent times, there has been sharp disagreement among the estate developers, residents and electricity distribution companies on the electricity connectivity, metering and billing system,’’ he said.

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